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Old 27 June 2015, 03:17   #1
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Life expectancy of SIB?

I have a Zodiac 285s solid floor SIB bought in 2009.

When l bought the boat l was told that they "are designed to last ten years" and l wondered if there was any truth in this.

The boat is used regularly but has to be stowed in its bag between uses. I always dry it before stowing, or if that's not possible l do it when l get home.

After seven seasons it still looks like new. The floor sections are all fine and there is no visible deterioration of the wooden transom. How long do these PVC boats usually last if looked after?
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Old 27 June 2015, 03:32   #2
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How long is a piece of string.

If you look at your average yacht tender plenty of them are 10years plus. They probably don't get the care yours does, but I suspect folding up does harm, but on the other hand drying it and not storing it upside down on the foredeck probably helps. On the other hand most yacht tenders will never have planed, will do 300m and stop rather than 15knts through waves etc.

Hypalon is less prone to UV damage than PVC, but you are only causing UV damage when out so minimised anyway.

Its a bit like a car - my Dad's car does 10k a year. Is washed once a week and waxed once a month. Hoovered once a month. Serviced religiously to the service schedule. Mine does 20k, the inside looks like a moving rubbish bin, on the outside I'm testing to see if never washing road salt and grime off will act like an additional layer of paint and provided I service it within about 7k of when the service due warning light came on things are pretty much normal for me... Who's do you think will last longer? My Dad's may last more years but will mine do more miles? But if I treated mine like my Dad's would it last as many years...

As you say 7 years and looks like new. I suspect you will get another 7 years from it... ...and even then someone on ebay will buy it...

But at some stage glues etc weaken with age as well as stresses and UV etc.
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Old 27 June 2015, 03:53   #3
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In my part of the world anything left in the sun soon becomes damaged, in summer my car wiper blades last 1 month. Im keeping my Zodiac out of the sun as much as possible, I believe there are boat wash shampoos which provide uv protection which I will look into.

Jon
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Old 27 June 2015, 07:06   #4
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I've two PVC SIBs at the moment having just bought the old Aerotec and they might add thoughts on longevity...

My 340 Acti-V Zodiac is 11yrs old and a in typical amazing condition so often found with an occasional use leisure use SIB. Super cosmetic condition with no signs of any glue/seam problem to worry about yet but I'm aware issue could arise so have a good pull at the seams/fittings every time I inflate. This has spent most of its life packed in its bag. I think any perceived downside to them being folded (and I've never seen this cause an actual problem) is massively outweighed by the benefits of having them dry stored away from UV and the elements.

The Aerotec is 17yrs old. It has been a tender and used on davits for some of its past life and this has massively increased its exposure to wear and tear plus UV. The fabric itself is unaffected but as well as a few patches there are signs of previous glue repairs plus there are some more bits I'll catch over the next year or so to keep it sound. I have the patience to make these repairs to a decent standard so it will last many more years yet. Like many Zodiacs the tubes have welded seams so they should last a long time and the transom is sound so even if it does need further repairs it will be worth doing.

Of course if you think DIY repairing glued seams is not for you then keeping a PVC SIB beyond 10yrs will always be a gamble.

But in the scheme of life not much of a gamble. If you buy a new Zodiac Cadet around 1200 for the usual gentle leisure use and keep it 12yrs even if it does show some sign of glue issues it will probably still make 200 on Ebay. So that's cost about 80/yr which to me is absolute peanuts for the fun you have over the years.

As long as you don't pay 2yr old money for a 12yr old SIB the same value will work out for a used one at any price/age point.

Moving away from PVC I've owned several Hypalon Avon and Zodiac SIBs in the past and these will last a staggering amount of time unless neglected... 40+yrs is quite common.
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Old 27 June 2015, 11:12   #5
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I've seen a large number of 20 - 40 year old SIBs being used for diving in California. I'd say the 10 year statement is pretty conservative.

JonP: If you get info on the UV inhibiting shampoo, I'd like to hear about it.

jky
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Old 27 June 2015, 13:05   #6
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Just bought a Mercury SIB HD PVC welded seams they are giving 5 year garantee not sure what type of material tornado boats are made of it looked like PVC but they last years
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Old 27 June 2015, 21:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyasaki View Post
I've seen a large number of 20 - 40 year old SIBs being used for diving in California. I'd say the 10 year statement is pretty conservative.

JonP: If you get info on the UV inhibiting shampoo, I'd like to hear about it.

jky
It seems this 303 stuff gets recommended quite highly http://www.defender.com/product3.jsp...293&id=2656517

http://www.aristocraft.webpixel.com....t/maintenance/

Jon
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Old 28 June 2015, 03:03   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
Its a bit like a car - my Dad's car does 10k a year. Is washed once a week and waxed once a month. Hoovered once a month. Serviced religiously to the service schedule. Mine does 20k, the inside looks like a moving rubbish bin, on the outside I'm testing to see if never washing road salt and grime off will act like an additional layer of paint and provided I service it within about 7k of when the service due warning light came on things are pretty much normal for me... Who's do you think will last longer? My Dad's may last more years but will mine do more miles? But if I treated mine like my Dad's would it last as many years...
Interesting analogy. Think I'll buy your dad's car instead.

I'd expect to see a Zodiac achieve 20 years+. I've a 1986 Zodiac MKIIC GT that's still going strong, but is no longer in use. The seams under the rowlocks failed, but I have since repaired. The end cones went too. Again, another repair. Lost count how many times I repaired the pennant on the bow or re-varnished the oars. The inflatable keel failed, again not a big repair.

The lifespan of the boat will very much depend on how it's being used, and how often. Keeping the boat at the right operating pressure stresses the material over time, as does increases in temperature and UV light.

I'm sure deflating and rolling up stresses transom points, etc. When I used to pack the Zodiac away I found large quantities of sand under the aluminium floorboards from our regular trips to the beach. Over time it's abrasive and works into the seams. There is an argument for removing the floor and getting it clean occasionally.

Enjoy it and use it. If it breaks, then simply fix it.
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Old 28 June 2015, 17:14   #9
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The big killer of sibs is sun and mice.

If the boat is kept protected from the sun. the PVC on a Zodiac should easily last 30 or 40 years. The seams are welded and should last just as long, the glue on the other hand is a problem.

For some reason, Zodiac glue turns to pritt stick after about 10 years, although some boats last much longer. most dont.

And the mice ? They love rolled up Zodiac sibs and happily chew them up to make nests.
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Old 28 June 2015, 17:38   #10
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>>> They love rolled up Zodiac sibs and happily chew them up to make nests

Keep moving them is the answer... seriously the mice fail to settle in a moving target.
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